Sunday, October 30, 2005


I do believe that I must be coming down with something because, for some inexplicable reason, on Friday night I willingly watched a Julia Roberts movie.  On top of that, I actually enjoyed it… a good amount… and thought Roberts did a great job with her part.  Yes, I now know what it must be like to be crazy.  And in this state of insanity, I thought very heavily about this movie, Closer, and realized that it very accurately portrays three distinct and different chapters of relationships as they are in our current society.

It used to be, back in the days of Saved by the Bell, after school specials, and romantic comedies that people would date, encounter some problems, work them out, and then everything would be wonderful.  Our characters would live happily ever after completely dismissing everything that had previously happened.  I always thought, and I suppose still do to some degree, that relationships would always work that way.

As I grew up I saw relationships that my friends were in get… complicated, much more complicated than the glorified Hollywood romantic comedies made relationships seem.  Then I saw relationships fail.  I saw the hurt, the misery, the prolonged love, the longing, and all of the other complex emotions that came with the fallout of a failed relationship.

Even later, I saw some failed relationships work themselves out and come back together, each with their own unique results.  Some ended up more messed up than before while others became idealistically sound.  It was never a guarantee that things would work out, and that’s assuming the people in the broken relationship ever gave it a second chance.  Most of the time the people involved would often just let their hate, hurt, and misery build up, forever putting a wall between two people that had previously loved one another.

So how does Closer fit into this?  It just so happens to bring to light the darker, more realistic side of today’s relationships.  No longer is the dating world as simple as it used to be (or that I imagine it was).  Fidelity is no longer a rule, but more of a suggestion.  Love isn’t forever, but is something very fleeting that must be held on to with everything you have lest you lose it.  Then again, falling back in love seems just as easy as falling out.  Relationships have become cold.

Now I’m not saying that I subscribe to the concepts I have brought up, but I do realize that what I believe is really quite far from how things actually happen.  I try to believe in the perfect relationship, in love that will last forever, and in fidelity above everything else, but the older I get the harder it is to keep hope alive.  It’s not gone, don’t worry, but sometimes it’s overshadowed by the moral decay on display in today’s current dating scene.

Just like I used to think that being an adult would be so easy, I also thought relationships would just magically work.  Thing is, as I grew up I found out life wasn’t easy, and the more I’ve dealt with relationships the more I’ve realized they are more complicated than I could have ever expected.  The many layers of psychology that go into every interaction you have with someone can drive someone nuts if they try to examine all of them, which I sometimes find myself doing, but only because I crave knowledge and I also don’t want to get hurt.

Throughout Closer’s runtime, you can see the layers of complexity building up around each of the characters and their respective relationships with those in their lives. There were parts of the movie that were hard to watch, not for the usual reasons such as blood, guts, strong sexual content, or grotesque language, but because of the emotional outpouring of some of the characters—the heartbreak, heartache, and evil things that can be done in the name of love or revenge.

Closer gives you a look at the darker side of today’s relationships and, in my opinion, the realistic side of today’s dating environment.  Cheating, lying, jealousy, revenge, power plays, distrust, and secrecy—so much of what makes up today’s relationships, and so much of why I’m always afraid of being hurt.  It’s a crazy dating world out there, so if you find something wonderful, go with it.  Chances are you might never find something as good ever again.  Conversely, when you are hurt be careful not to get hurt again, but don’t be too cautious that you can never give anyone a chance.  It’s a precarious balance that is often hard to find, but one that is essential to finding relationship happiness.

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